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Bank provides six-figure loan

Trust celebrates deal to secure Highland centre

speyside 2A sports and recreation centre in the Cairngorms is back in the full ownership of a charitable trust after receiving a six-figure package of support from Bank of Scotland.

The £580,000 loan will mean the Badaguish Outdoor Centre is back under the control of Speyside Trust, a social enterprise, following Highland Council’s move to terminate the lease on four of the lodges.

There are now plans to mark the trust’s 30th anniversary by hosting several outdoor sporting events including the Scottish Cross Country Mountain Bike National Championships and Scottish Cross Triathlon Championships, both taking place in August.

Fundraising events are also taking place, including the Corrieyairack Challenge in July, Aviemore Half Marathon in October and the Youth Outdoor Challenge in April.

Badaguish features eight self-catering lodges, 20 wigwam camping huts as well as a purpose built fully-staffed residential respite care unit, offering 24 hour support to unaccompanied individuals with special needs. Recreational activities include a new football pitch, mountain bike pump track together with a range of play equipment enjoyed by up to 9,000 people each year.

The facilities have been further developed over recent years to cater for able bodied groups who wish to use the site, establishing the centre as an essential base for outdoor activities in the Highland region.

An integrated management system will now be implemented by Speyside Trust across the whole site, to improve the running of both the facilities and recreational grounds, enhancing the experience for its customers in the local community and surrounding areas.

Andrew MacKenzie, Speyside Trust Executive Director, said: “Regaining complete ownership of the Badaguish Outdoor Centre is a pivotal moment in the history of the Speyside Trust.

“This is both a challenge and a huge opportunity. Badaguish is run as a social enterprise with all profit donated to support the charity’s care and training services. Our respite care service needs this dependable funding. We’re committed to growing the profile of the charity whilst continually providing a first class experience for all our visitors at the centre.

“We’re very grateful to the Bank of Scotland and the many other agencies who have made this transition possible.”

Barrie Aird, Bank of Scotland relationship manager for the area, added: “The Speyside Trust is a unique organisation in Scotland, promoting equal opportunity access to the National Park for people with disabilities as well as youth and educational groups.

“We look forward to working with the Speyside Trust in the future and wish the staff well as they prepare to celebrate its 30 year anniversary.”

Picture: Barry Aird, left, and Andrew MacKenzie

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